Some Chicagoans still may be bitter about losing the 2016 Summer Olympics bid to Rio de Janeiro, but kids in the West Chicago area voiced no complaints Tuesday during the fifth annual Salute to the Olympics.
The Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Service, or WAYS summer camp played host to kids from four other summer camps from Warrenville Park District, West Chicago Park District, Winfield Park District and Western DuPage Special Recreation Association at Red Hawk Park in Carol Stream for an action-packed day of events and activities.
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Roughly 130 kids from the five camps participated in relay races, parachute games, water balloon tosses and other competitions. Camps consisted of both elementary school and middle school students.
"Part of our goal is physical activity," said Alison Paddack, program coordinator at WAYS.
"We wanted a day where we could invite other camps in to share a day of activity and friendly competition and to teach kids about teamwork and what the real Olympics has to offer."
The Olympics opened with a parade through the WAYS senior center in West Chicago, the playing of the national anthem, and a salute to the Olympics, much like a real opening ceremony.
Then the games began.
Magda Wiatr of Hanover Park has two children -- daughter Maggie, 10, and son Christopher, 8 -- who have been in the WAYS summer camp for three years. She says her kids get excited for the Olympics every year and asked her to come and watch this year.
"I think (camps) should get together more often," Wiatr said. "Not only for Olympics, but for different activities when there's nice weather. It's nice when everybody can meet and make new friends."
Wiatr's kids like the Olympics because they get to be outside and active. Some of their favorite events are the Hula-Hoop relays and egg races.
"The activities are field day-type activates," Paddack said. "They're geared toward not being highly competitive."
Kids from the Warrenville Park District summer camp attended the WAYS Olympics for the first time this year. Erin Jensen, site supervisor for the camp, said they do not often collaborate with other camps.
"We usually do our own thing with Warrenville's other camps," Jensen said. "But the kids like (the WAYS Olympics) and that's what's important. They seem like they're having fun."
Rain on Tuesday forced the cancellation of much of the afternoon events. However, the closing ceremony went on as scheduled and all participants received a medal.
"It was a fun day," Paddack said.
"The kids enjoyed the games and showed a lot of sportsmanship."